Smaller Retail Food Establishments Get Chance to Pick Their PoisonJuly 27, 2010
By Ricardo Carvajal –
As we discussed in a prior posting, Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the display of certain nutrition information by chain restaurants and retail food establishments with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu. In return, such larger chain restaurants are relieved of having to comply with state or local requirements that are not identical to the new federal requirements. Smaller chain restaurants (meaning those with one to 19 locations) were left a choice: voluntarily register with FDA and submit to federal requirements as implemented by FDA through forthcoming regulations, or be subject to state requirements. Now FDA has published a Federal Register notice announcing how smaller chain restaurants can voluntarily register with FDA effective immediatel. Given the speed with which menu labeling requirements are changing at the state and local level, we’re guessing that many smaller chain restaurants might just hold their noses and opt to fall under the federal thumb.